Perfectly-Camouflaged Moth Looks Like a Twig Fragment

Tsumaki Shachihoko is a rare Japanese moth that features impressive natural camouflage which allows it to perfectly mimic small twigs in order to avoid predators.

We’ve always found natural camouflage fascinating here at Oddity Central, and simply searching the term in our search box will yield over a dozen amazing examples of natural mimics. Today we are adding yet another master of camouflage to our ever-growing collection – Tsumaki Shachihoko, a moth found in various forested areas of Japan, where it manages to keep itself safe by mimicking a small twig fragment. Seen from afar, the moth is virtually impossible to tell apart from an actual twig, complete with imperfections such as chipped bark and brownish “broken” ends.

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This Caterpillar’s Camouflage Is On a Another Level

The Common Baron Caterpillar is a true master of camouflage. When it positions itself perfectly on a mango tree leaf, it is nearly impossible to spot, even if you know it’s there.

Some animals naturally develop camouflage in order to make themselves harder to spot by predators, but some are much better than others, and some blend into their natural surroundings perfectly. The Common Baron Caterpillar (Euthalia aconthea), a critter native to India and Southeast Asia, fits in the latter category. It has evolved to blend into its preferred background so well that it is nearly impossible to see.

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Tiny Assassin Bug Wears the Bodies of Its Victims as Camouflage

The assassin bug is a fascinating insect for many reasons, but the one that really stands out is its gruesome camouflage, which consists of the carcasses of its victims glued to its back.

There are around 7,000 known species of assassin bugs in the world, ranging from 4 to 40 mm in length and sharing the same formidable weapon – a sharp, curved, needle-like structure called a “rostrum”. It’s this rostrum that they use to stab their prey – usually other insects – and inject them with a poisonous saliva that liquifies their innards. When the victim stops moving, the assassin bug will start slurping away at its inside, until only the shell remains. That shell is used by some assassin bug species as camouflage, and some specimens have been observed walking around with a mound of insect carcasses glued to their backs.

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This Dead Leaf Is a Perfectly Camouflaged Butterfly

Kallima inachus, a species of nymphalid butterfly found in India and Japan, is known as the orange oakleaf or dead leaf butterfly for a very good reason – with its wings closed, this butterfly closely resembles a dried tree leaf.

It’s been said that the kallima inachus butterfly mimics a dead leaf better than an actual dead leaf, and as crazy as that sounds, it actually makes some sense. Somehow, this tiny creatures managed to raise its camouflage to such an extreme level that its wings feature a pointed leaf apex at the front tip, and a leaf stalk on the hindside, as well as a characteristic vein pattern, multiple shades of brown and orange, and even tiny imperfections like black spots or small tears. It’s a perfect camouflage artist.

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This Asian Moth Is Probably Nature’s Ultimate Camouflage Master

We’ve seen plants and insects posing as something else entirely in order to confuse their natural predators, but Macrocilix maia, a moth native to Southeastern Asia, takes mimicry to a whole new level by literally painting an entire scene on its wings.

Looking at a Macrocilix maia moth, it’s impossible to ignore the scene painted on its wings – two flies feasting on some brown spots that could be mistaken for fresh bird droppings. It’s a pretty disgusting picture, and apparently we’re not the only ones who think so. Many of this moth’s predators tend to skip on insects feasting on bird droppings, associating them with potential disease, so the natural pattern acts as a defense mechanism for the otherwise helpless insect. And as if this visual representation of flies eating bird droppings wasn’t impressive enough, the moth reportedly also gives off a pungent odour that could be mistaken for actual bird droppings.

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Return of the Invisible Man – New Stunning Camouflage Works by Liu Bolin

Liu Bolin, the man who took the international art world by storm, in 2009, with his incredible ability to merge with the environment, has returned with a new series that makes him even harder to spot.

Nicknamed the “Invisible Man”, Liu Bolin is a master of camouflage art who spends up to 10 hours blending into various backdrops, with the help of paint. He puts on a suit and waits patiently as his helpers cover him in paint matching the colors of the background, until he becomes almost impossible to spot. Passionate about his art, this human chameleon he tries to get every little detail, every crack and crevice just right for that one perfect snapshot.  His latest exhibition, Hiding in the City, at New York’s Eli Klein Art Gallery, features some of his best works yet. It wasn’t for the shoes sticking out of the backdrops, I probably would have needed to really look at the photos to figure out where he was hiding. My favorites are the panda camouflage, the magazine stand and the toy aisle, but every one of his creation is simply mind-blowing.

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Camouflage Company Makes Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak a Reality

Created by Canadian camouflage design company Hyperstealth, Quantum Stealth is a is a material that renders its wearer completely invisible by bending light waves around it, which is in effect very similar to the invisibility cloak worn child wizard extraordinaire, Harry Potter.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put on your very own invisibility cloak and just roam around undetected? Sadly, that’s not going to be possible for most of us, but if you’re a US soldier, this fantasy could become a reality sooner than you think. Apparently, the US Military is currently backing development of special materials to make American soldiers completely invisible on the battlefield, and according to one camouflage design company, it might soon get its wish. Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp. CEO, Guy Cramer, says their new “Quantum Stealth” material has finally made the sci-fi/fantasy technology a reality. Unfortunately at this time, we can only take his word for it, as its development is so secret that the company cannot even show footage of how it works, on its website, offering only mock-ups of its effects.

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Australian Artist Takes Camouflage to a Whole New Level

Adelaide-based artist Emma Hack, 39, creates incredible works of art where she paints male and female models and makes them blend into complex background images.

If you’re one of the 300 million people who watched Gotye’s video for the international hit “Somebody That I Used to Know“, then you’re probably already a fan of Emma Hack, and just didn’t know it yet. She’s the mastermind behind the unique music video where Gotye and Kimbra gradually transform into painted works of art that morph into the background until they become entirely camouflaged. Emma worked with the artists for 23 very long hours, but the public reactions to their work made the efforts worth it for all parties involved. Although she’s been a camouflage artist for 22 years, Emma says she feels her career has just now started taking off and she’s finally being taken seriously as an artist.

The Anti-Pirate Houses of Ikaria Island

The Greek Island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea is home to numerous camouflaged houses built under giant rocks to make them harder to spot by pirates.

Nowadays, Ikaria is a popular tourist destination famous for its sandy beaches, picturesque villages and pristine natural landscape. But it wasn’t always the slice of paradise it is today. Hundreds of years ago, Ikaria was a prime target for the pirates who called the Aegean their home, so to protect themselves from their raids, the locals started building ‘anti-pirate’ homes deep into the mountains, to make their island look uninhabited from the sea. At one point, the entire population of Ikaria concealed itself in rock houses that didn’t attract attention unless you literally walked past them.

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Chinese Artist Hides Optical Illusions in Plain Sight

A 33-year-old artist from Chenzou, China, has been getting a lot of attention for turning trees, utility poles, and road signs into optical illusions that blend into their backgrounds.

Huang Yao is a talented 3D painter who showcases his skills by turning local infrastructure and plant life into original artworks. The young Chinese specializes in creating perfect camouflage for his creations, which makes them blend into the background perfectly. But that would mean that most people either walk right by them without even noticing his stunning work, or run straight into them and injure themselves. Neither case is ideal, so Huang usually adds certain elements to make his optical illusions stand out.

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The Marble Berry Is the World’s Brightest Living Thing

The fruit of Pollia condensata, aka the marble berry, a plant that grows in the forests of Central Africa, has been scientifically recognized as the brightest organic substance in nature.

The elusive marble berry plant grows up to about meter-tall and sprouts clusters of up to 40 small, impressively-shiny fruits. Seeing a marble berry up close, you could swear it was coated in a layer of metallic blue paint. It looks a lot like a shiny miniature Christmas bauble, shimmering in the sunlight, which is unusual for a plant. The world is full of brightly-colored plants and fruits, but none of them are as iridescent as the marble berry. That fact intrigued scientists, who, after conducting a series of tests, concluded that the fruit of Pollia condensata was not only the brightest fruit in the world, but the brightest organic thing.

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This Fascinating Bird Looks Like a Feathered Dragon

What do you get if you mix a bird, a squirrel and a lizard? Well, I think you’ll have a tough time finding a better answer than the Great Eared Nightjar.

Seeing a great eared nightjar for the first time, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a squirrel or even a lizard. The fact is it kind of looks like a combination of animals, or even a real-live version of Toothless, the dragon from DreamWorks Studios’ hit animation “How to Train Your Dragon“. You could say it’s living proof that birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than reptiles.

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The Pink Panthers – A Unique Piece of British Military History

Pink hardly seems like an appropriate color for combat military vehicles, but there was a time when the British military had a fleet of pink Land Rovers that affectionately became known as the “Pink Panthers”.

Khaki and beige are the two most common colors used on military vehicles, but when it comes to desert camouflage, there was a time when pink was the best choice. ‘Desert pink’ as it was once referred to, was first used in the Africa campaign of World War 2, but British researchers later confirmed that it was the most suitable camouflage color for the desert, so a fleet of pink Series 2A Land Rover jeeps was also part of the British SAS from 1968 until 1984. They were known as the Pink Panthers, or Pinkies.

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This Giant Wasp Is Just a Harmless Moth in Disguise

The European Hornet Moth (Sesia apiformis) looks terrifying at first glance, but its uncanny resemblance to a giant wasp is just an elaborate disguise meant to keep predators at bay.

The hornet moth is a prime example of Batesian mimicry, a form of mimicry where a harmless species has evolved to imitate the look and/or behavior of a harmful species in order to protect itself from predators. In this case, the yellow and back combination, the shape of the abdomen, and of the see-through wings do a great job of creating the illusion of a menacing wasp. It’s only on closer inspection that you notice the insect’s lack of a clearly defined, wasp-like waste, a furry body, and two uncharacteristically small eyes.

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Caterpillar Wears Its Molted Heads as a Bizarre Multi-Tiered Hat

The caterpillar of the Uraba lugens moth is deserving of the nickname “Mad Hatterpillar”, as it stacks the heads of its molted exoskeletons into an intriguing headpiece.

The Uraba lugens caterpillar molds up to 13 times while in its caterpillar phase, but it doesn’t shed all of its previous body parts. It uses some of the empty shells that once housed its head to create a rather impressive tower-shaped headpiece. As the caterpillar grows, so does its head, so each of the empty shells on top of its head is bigger than the next. Every time it molds, the head portion of its exoskeleton stays attached to its body, giving the critter a unique look as well as a handy decoy in the case of an attack.

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